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Afghan, Coalition Forces Capture, Kill Insurgents

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2010 – Afghan and coalition forces detained several Taliban insurgents in Kandahar province yesterday, including a Taliban commander who carried out attacks against Afghan government officials and coalition forces in Kandahar City, military officials reported.

Based on intelligence tips, the security forces targeted a compound in Arghandab district to search for the commander. Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the area.

After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the commander along with several of his associates.

During this operation -- as in all others -- Afghan and coalition security forces made it a priority to protect women and children.

In other Afghanistan news yesterday:

-- Afghan and coalition forces killed Azizullah, a Taliban subcommander who operated mainly in Logar province, during an overnight operation in Paktika province. Azizullah was connected to the July kidnapping and deaths of two US sailors. Additionally, a Taliban improvised explosive device manufacturer was among several insurgents detained during the operation. Intelligence reporting led the security force to a remote compound in Sharan district to search for the commander. As the security force approached, several individuals ran from the compound. The security force tracked and peacefully detained them. Additionally, the assault force killed an insurgent hiding in a ditch after he threatened the security force. The security force later identified him as Azizullah. After the area was secure, Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then the combined force secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained several more insurgents. The security force also found multiple Taliban propaganda videos at the scene.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several insurgents in Helmand province, including a Taliban commander operating in Nawah-ye Barakzai district. The commander terrorized the local population by conducting improvised explosives device attacks and kidnapping Afghan civilians. Afghan and coalition security forces have degraded the Nawah Taliban network through several recent operations resulting in the capture of several high-level commanders within the network. The targeted individual was being considered to replace the former Nawah-ye Barakzai district commander, who was detained by an Afghan-led force in August. Based on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a remote series of compounds in Marjah district to search for the commander. As the security force approached one of the targeted compounds, several insurgents ran from the compound. The security force pursued and detained them peacefully. Once the area was secured, Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After conducting initial questioning with the residents at the scene, the security force detained additional insurgents.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained several suspected Taliban insurgents in Badghis province, including a Taliban sub-commander operating in Qal'ah-ye Now district, who is responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. Based on intelligence information, the security force interdicted several vehicles in Qadis district to search for the Taliban commander. They secured the area and subsequently searched an associated tent. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained the commander and five of his associates.

-- Afghan and coalition forces detained two suspected Taliban insurgents in Logar province while in pursuit of a Taliban commander responsible for attacks against Afghan and coalition forces, including indirect fire attacks against Forward Operating Base Shank. Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound in the village of Khanshirin in Charkh district to search for the commander.

Afghan and coalition forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compound peacefully and then secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained the suspected insurgents.

-- International Security Assistance Forces confirmed one Afghan civilian was killed by an ISAF servicemember in the Ali Sheng district of Laghman province. An investigation is ongoing into the circumstances of the man's death. "We take allegations of civilian casualties very seriously and we will conduct a thorough investigation of this isolated incident," said Maj. Patrick Seiber, Combined Joint Task Force-101 and Regional Command-East spokesman. "We make every effort to ensure the protection of Afghan civilians and will take the steps necessary to prevent an incident like this from happening again in the future."

In Sept. 25 Afghanistan news:

-- Coalition forces conducted a precision air strike in Kunar province targeting an al-Qaida senior commander who coordinates the attacks of a group of Arab fighters in Kunar and Nuristan province. The al-Qaida facilitators and extremists he works with throughout the Middle East directly threaten the safety and security of Afghan government officials and civilians. He routinely facilitates the travel of foreign fighters into the region. The commander's older brother was killed in a coalition force precision strike in March 2009. The brothers worked in tandem for several years facilitating for the al-Qaida network. "These operations prevent violent extremists from being able to threaten Afghan sovereignty or maintain safe havens from which they can threaten the security of people around the world," said U.S. Air Force Col. James Dawkins, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. "We deliberately targeted a major threat last night, which will significantly degrade the al-Qaida activities throughout the region." Based on intelligence sources, coalition forces tracked the commander to a remote compound in Darah-ye Pech district. After verifying his location and careful planning to help reduce the collateral damage, coalition forces conducted a precision air strike on the targeted compound, which was subsequently destroyed. The ISAF is still gathering information to assess the results of the strike. "Just like we do with all of our precision air strikes, we balanced the possible risks posed by precision air strikes with the dangers posed by the targeted individual. In this instance we decided we could not let this opportunity pass us by," Dawkins said. "Careful planning, de-confliction with Afghan authorities and intelligence gathering helped ensure collateral damage was kept to a minimum."

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several suspected insurgents in Helmand province Saturday while in pursuit of a dual-hatted Taliban civil and military commander for Lashkar Gah and Nahr-e Saraj districts. The recently appointed commander was forced to take over the role of military commander after his predecessor was captured earlier this month. Intelligence reports led the security force to a compound in the village of Mohammad Jan Kalay in Nahr-e Saraj district to search for the commander. As the security force approached the targeted compound, several individuals ran from the compound. The security force pursued and detained them peacefully. At the targeted compound, Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the area. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained additional suspected insurgents.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained two insurgents and killed four in Takhar province while in pursuit of a Taliban facilitator involved in attack planning. The facilitator is associated with several Al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Taliban leaders operating in Baghlan province. Based on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a compound in the village of Marzek in Ishkamish district to search for the facilitator. As the security force approached the targeted compound, insurgents immediately threatened the security force from several areas outside the targeted compound. The security force engaged from the ground and from coalition force aircraft, killing four insurgents. After the area was secure, Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained two insurgents. Also, the security force discovered a weapons cache inside a building with automatic weapons, pistols, 50 mortar fuses, nine improvised explosive devices, an anti-tank mine and a remote detonator. The security force destroyed the weapons cache in place after they were unable to defuse the anti-tank mine.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several suspected insurgents in Zabul province while in pursuit of a mid-level Taliban commander operating in Tarnek wa Jaldak district. The commander coordinates and participates in attacks against Afghan government officials. Based on intelligence tips, the security force targeted a compound in the village of Ramazi Kalay in Tarnek wa Kalay district to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained three suspected insurgents.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several insurgents in Paktika province, including a Taliban subcommander involved in improvised explosive device attacks in Mata Khan district. The commander is the sixth chieftain in the Mata Khan Taliban network captured in the last two months. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound south of the village of Rowston Kheyl in Sharan district to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the commander along with several of his associates.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several insurgents in Khost province, including a Haqqani remote-controlled improvised explosive device facilitator responsible for the movement of weapons and IED making materials. Based on intelligence reports, the security force targeted a compound in the village of Naray Torah in Sabari district to search for the facilitator. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the facilitator along with some of his associates. The security force also discovered multiple automatic weapons and ammunition at the scene.

-- Afghan and coalition forces conducted another multi-day clearing operation aimed at disrupting the Taliban's freedom of movement outside Kandahar City. During the operation, at least five insurgents were killed. The joint security force is continuing their efforts to disrupt enemy safe havens in Kandahar province. This operation focused on an area east of the village of Ghundey Kalay in Zharay district. Taliban leaders use villages throughout the district to plan, coordinate and execute attacks along Highway 1, also known as ring road. Previous operations uncovered and secured areas plagued with improvised explosive devices and insurgent fighting positions. "Afghan and coalition forces are repeatedly hitting the insurgents in their backyard - allowing them no time to regroup," U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director, said. "The ultimate goal is to disrupt the enemy's sanctuaries and staging areas for attacks into Kandahar City so that the people of Kandahar City can continue their efforts building security and more importantly, re-building their lives without the Taliban threat." The joint force encountered heavy enemy contact, including rocket-propelled grenade, machine gun, recoilless rifle and small-arms fire. At least five insurgents were killed during several engagements. No Afghan or coalition forces were killed or wounded during the operation.

-- An Afghan National Security and coalition force detained one suspected insurgent during a combined operation in Kabul. The suspected insurgent was detained without incident and taken by Afghan authorities for processing and further questioning. The targeted compound is associated with a wanted Taliban shadow governor for the Charkh District, Logar province. The shadow governor is also wanted for coordinating attacks against ANSF and ISAF.

-- Afghan National Security and International Security Assistance Force conducted two combined operations resulting in several suspected insurgents being detained. The first operation occurred in Helmand province. Upon arrival and the securing of the target compound, the force called out the suspected insurgents and encountered no resistance. The force protected numerous women and children, while detaining several individuals for further questioning. The target of the operation is a Taliban commander who often receives and distributes a range of supplies, including weapons, improvised explosive device components and explosives. His geographical location between northern and central Helmand provides a link between the two insurgency network areas in regards to command and control and facilitation. The second operation took place in Ghazni province. After arriving at the targeted compound, a combined Afghan and ISAF force secured the suspected Taliban commander's house and called out the suspected insurgent. One suspected insurgent was detained without incident. The suspected Taliban commander is a significant Taliban leader in Ghazni districts. He is responsible for production and placing of IEDs targeting ANSF and ISAF forces. He also trains other insurgents in IED building and placement.

-- Two Afghan civilians riding a motorcycle were killed after failing to adhere to several warnings to stop while approaching a security perimeter in southern Afghanistan. The perimeter was set up after a patrol in the Musa Qal'ah district of Helmand province was attacked with small-arms fire. After several verbal and visual warnings, the motorcycle briefly stopped and then accelerated in the direction of the security force at a high rate of speed. Following additional warnings by the security force and the threat posed by the motorcycle, the two individuals were engaged with lethal force. Initial reports indicate coalition forces followed the appropriate escalation of force procedures. ISAF troops follow strict rules in regards to escalation of force procedures and do not intentionally target civilians.

-- ISAF confirmed the capture of a Taliban subcommander operating in Mata Khan district during an overnight operation in Paktiya province. The commander coordinated and conducted improvised explosive device attacks and facilitated weapons and ammunition for future attacks. Following detainment, Afghan and coalition forces also directly linked him to a recent pressure plate IED discovered in Mata Khan district. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound in the village of Shakian in Zurmat district to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compounds. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained the commander and two of his associates.

-- Coalition forces conducted a precision air strike in Paktika province, killing Halel, a Taliban subcommander directly linked to last week's election attacks. Halel helped conduct indirect fire and improvised explosive device attacks. The security force also recovered a significant amount of IED material and weapons at the scene. Based on intelligence sources following an earlier attack against coalition forces, the combined force tracked Halel to a remote area southeast of the village of Nazar Mohammad Kala in Yahya Khel district. After careful planning to ensure no civilians were present, coalition aircraft conducted a precision air strike against the commander. A follow-on ground force went to the engagement site to assess the results of the strike. The security force confirmed four insurgents, including Halel, were killed and also discovered and destroyed a significant weapons cache including multiple automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and various types of ammunition. The security force also searched several area compounds. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the compounds peacefully and then the combined force cleared and secured the compounds. The security force discovered a significant amount of IED material including multiple remote transmitters, detonation cord, batteries and homemade explosives. They also found multiple mortars, an RPG motor and machine gun ammunition. All of the weapons were destroyed at the scene. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force detained two insurgents for additional questioning.

-- Afghan and coalition security forces detained several insurgents in Khost province, including a Haqqani commander linked to attacks against Afghan officials. The commander was also involved in ambushing a vehicle during last week's elections and stealing a ballot box. The security force also discovered a significant cache of improvised explosive device material and military equipment at the scene. Based on intelligence reports, the security force targeted a remote compound in Tanai district to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then the joint security force cleared and secured the compound. After initial questioning at the scene, the security force identified and detained the commander along with three of his associates. The security force also discovered an automatic weapon, pistol, rocket-propelled grenade launcher, magazines and loose ammunition, along with three U.S. combat uniforms at the scene. These types of uniforms were recently used in attacks against a coalition force base. Additionally, they discovered and destroyed improvised explosive device material, including 100 blasting caps, artillery rounds, a land mine, pressure plates and electrical circuitry.

In Sept. 24 Afghanistan news:

-- A combined force of more than 250 Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and coalition soldiers conducted an air assault into eastern Afghanistan to clear insurgent activity in the area. While conducting their security and clearing patrols in the Alisheng district of Laghman province, the combined force received small-arms fire and engaged several insurgents in the area. More than 30 enemy fighters have been killed in the engagement. Initial reports indicate that there are no injuries or damages to any civilians in the area. The operation is currently ongoing.

-- Approximately 30 kilograms of narcotics were found by Afghan and coalition forces in Helmand province. The narcotics were found after a combined force random vehicle check in the area conducted to intercept insurgent's material, narcotics traffickers and weapons being transported in and out of Helmand province. Two vehicles were stopped during a vehicle checkpoint operation. Two men in the first vehicle were detained for suspected insurgent and narcotics links. While the patrol was detaining the suspects in the first car, the second vehicle left the scene. The combined forces followed the second vehicle to a nearby compound. Afghan and ISAF forces then secured the compound and searched it, discovering 20 kilograms of wet opium and 10 kilograms of marijuana. The narcotics were destroyed in place. The detainees were taken by Afghan police for processing and further questioning.

-- An air weapons team engaged a significant number of insurgents following an attack on a remote Afghan National Security Force outpost in Khost province. Afghan security forces received direct and indirect-fire at Combat Outpost Narizah near the Pakistan border. An air weapons team in the area observed the enemy fire, and following ISAF rules of engagement, crossed into the area of enemy fire. The ISAF aircraft then engaged, killing more than 30 insurgents. Two ISAF helicopters returned to the border area Saturday and were engaged by small-arms fire. The aircraft returned fire, resulting in several additional insurgents killed. Initial reports indicate no civilian were injured or killed during either operation.

-- Afghan National Army and coalition forces detained a Taliban deputy shadow governor in Kandahar province. The ANA partnered with the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop of 1- 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to detain the deputy shadow governor of Zharay district. He is a high-level Taliban leader associated with improvised explosive devices facilitation, foreign fighter transport and attacks against coalition forces. The shadow governor's detention was possible through the efforts of the ANA soldiers on the ground and reporting from Taliban informants, according to Army Capt. Matthew Crawford, the intelligence officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Battalion, 75th Cavalry Regiment. The loss of the shadow governor will have a significant impact on high level Taliban planning and disrupt their operations in Zharay, said Crawford.

Afghan and coalition security forces always make it a priority to protect women and children during all operations.

 

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NATO International Security Assistance Force


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